Aussie Pro Tour team?

The Pegasus Racing project has been on the radar of Aussie cycling fans for some time but now the pace seems to be picking up, with registration papers being submitted to the UCI with the aim of getting ProTour status. It’s great news for the sport in terms of a new team, especially since it’s coming all the way from Australia to race in Europe.

It seems the demise of the Cervélo Test Team has given those behind the team a reason to break cover. What could have been a disaster for many Cervélo riders now means several teams are interested in hiring, with Garmin trying to shoehorn additional riders into its roster, not to mention the media-shy Team Luxembourg project.

But regular readers will know I’m a bit of a Cynic and most certainly a skeptic. So when I hear bold promises about a new team, I reserve judgement. Especially when I read the piece on about the team. Why?

White claims he has a US sponsor in place to back the team, with reports of $12.5 million budget. He is currently applying for a ProTour licence with the UCI and says he has already signed 10 riders, one of whom is current Garmin-Transitions rider Trent Lowe.

Now this is good, a sponsor with a big budget. But isn’t this an Aussie team? If so, why the US sponsor? It could be that the sponsor is someone like Constellation Wines, a big US business that owns Aussie wine brands like Hardys and Banrock Station. Either way, the signing of Trent Lowe isn’t proof of high ambitions (sorry Trent).

White also revealed that team clothing and bikes are likely to be decorated with indigenous Australian art work and the team will hold a get-together in the Australian outback rather than a boot camp in Europe.

Now this sounds interesting. Bush tucker and dodging brownies will certainly foster some team spirit…but the art work? Well I just hope this is done sensitively and that the art is genuine, not something cooked up in by a Sydney graphic design agency.

Also, what happens to Fly-V. The Aussie airline doesn’t operate in Europe so will their sponsorship be canned? Lots of questions, here’s hoping we get some great answers soon.